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Glassed-in Labs Invade Žižkov Quarter of Prague
(top) Equestrian bronze of Jan Žižka, dominating a promontory overlooking the Žižkov
quarter of Prague. (inset) Lloyd Dunn in the new Glassed-in Labs (East); arrow shows his window. (below) Žižka again,
with Czech flag in the background.
2002-01-24 / New Digs, Again. When you carefully read
the entire communiqué that follows, an epiphany will occur. You will, for the first time in your
life, know how to control all that affects you. You will discover, for example, that The Tape-beatles
have left behind their old Glassed-in Laboratory (East) in favor of comely mortar-encrusted reinforced den.
The new work space in Prague, located in the
quarter called Žižkov, is supplied with just enough of the kind of amenities to fuel their
search for Tomorrow’s Golden World: sparse furnishings, an easy-going ambience, two desks and a
cardboard-tubed ‘Rollpa’ shelving unit made of surprisingly rigid rolled paper
(as the name suggests). These spartan furnishings are already stacked up with boxes to the ceiling
in one corner, and the desks enjoy the patina of one week’s worth of activities.
The Locale. Žižkov is a stimulating, flavorful part of the city, and ‘our’ street,
Koněvova, is its main artery where restaurants, pubs, shops, traffic and parked cars
provide the pulse. The street lies at the foot of a rocky outcropping where the monument of
Jan Žižka on horseback
stands watch over the city. It can be seen easily from anywhere within Prague, and is locally
claimed to be the largest bronze statue of a man on horseback anywhere in the world. Žižka
was a 15th-century defender against anti-Hussite, Holy Roman crusaders who utilized an army of
peasant fighters and an arsenal of tricks
and farm implements, including putting their steeds’ horseshoes on backwards, to confuse
any enemies who might be tracking them.
Duties Beckon. Projects slated for the next months include formatting a decade
of films for release on some variety of shiny disk, lining up appearances in Czech
Republic and various European cities, attending screenings that form part of FebioFest 2002,
a Prague film festival, and tying up loose ends and unfurling knitted works. Oh, yeah, and Lloyd
has enrolled in Czech language classes, where he enjoys the company of an international group of
The highlight of the holidays was a visit by former Tape-beatle Linda Morgan Brown who came to Prague
during the coldest, deepest winter snow in the last 20 years. That snow and our friend Linda have now
since left us, and with a sniffle, we can now get back to work.
Photostatic Magazine 1983-1998
The Content May Be Old,
But the Site is New
2002-01-20 / Background. Photostatic Magazine was a regular
fixture and active proponent of the zine, audio art and DIY (do it yourself) counterculture that emerged
during the 1980s. As a journal of so-called ‘machine art,’ Photostatic managed to bring together artists
working across the spectrum of contemporary disciplines, including photocopy art, collage, correspondence
or mail art, concrete poetry, experimental works, graphic design, photography, sound and video art, humor,
essays, reviews, journalism, and more.
In addition to this wide range of subject matter, Photostatic’s contributors came from around the world;
Japan, Australia, North and South America, and most nations of Europe, including many artists from the
then-Warsaw Pact countries. Photostatic worked within a self-proclaimed ‘Eternal Network,’ which made use
of photocopy, typewriters, rubber stamps, glue sticks, handwriting and the international postal system;
in perhaps much the same spirit as people blog, surf, chat, email and code web pages today.
Announcement. Photostatic’s editor, Lloyd Dunn, is pleased to announce a new website devoted to historifying
and archiving the project called Photostatic. This new site is intended to serve as a repository for a
complete collection of Photostatic Magazine in electronic form (including its variant titles Retrofuturism
We further announce the immediate availability of the first issue in the PDF series, Psrf 49 (October 1998),
which was the final issue in the printed series. New postings will follow at approximately one-month intervals.
We post these versions, one at a time, in like manner to how they first appeared, in deference to the print
publication’s bimonthly schedule. We post them in reverse chronological order to form a mirror image in
time of the original series. People entirely new to this content will therefore have the opportunity to see
the work sequentially with its origins gradually unveiled, as opposed to how its creators saw it, inevitably
in terms of an unfolding and surprising future.
Please visit the new site:
If you are a former Photostatic or Retrofuturism contributor, please take a moment to stop by and …
• Leave your comments
JUAN GARCIA ESQUIVEL 1918-2002
Here’s What We’ve Got To Start the New Year
2002-01-10 / Another spin around the sun, and we
find we have little news about Public Works and The Tape-beatles to add emphasis
to the occasion. We’ve taken the cusp of the year and relaxed with it, spending time in
rustic surroundings, decompressing, as no doubt many of you have done.
However, it is with some small feeling of vindication that we take note of the many voices
that are being raised in the ongoing debate over intellectual ‘property,’ which seems to be
fast approaching a rolling boil. Vindication, since it was so long ago that we took firmly hold
of the issue, and placed it at the core of our corps. Small, because we could not see from our
late-eighties vantage point the many petals held inside this cultural rosebud. The voices
on the various sides of the debate add lustre and contour to what, it’s now clear, is a gordian
knot that will likely take decades to untangle.
Intellectual ‘property’ is correlative to intellectual poverty, the free exchange of ideas
being vital to a vibrant intellectual commons, as Thomas Jefferson pointed out. At the same time,
we are sympathetic to the notion that cultural producers ought to be able to live from their efforts.
Where the middle ground lies in all of this is a difficult question, and one that we as a culture are
only beginning to explore and debate in earnest. So it is particularly vital that we inform ourselves,
to shoot the flimsy arguments down, and bolster the strong ones. We all have a stake the outcome.
Pursuant to all this, listed here are some readings we’ve come across recently that may interest you.
EFF member John Gilmore asks, then answers the question What’s Wrong with Copy Protection?
• Nine points to ponder.
Tidbits completes its series of four essays by Dan Kohn entitled Steal this Essay. An attempt to lay out the more interesting and subtle issues in the debate.
• Read “Steal this Essay”
The New York Times reviews law scholar Lawrence Lessig’s new book The Future of Ideas, which itself is very likely worth reading.
• Read the review
Congressman Rick Boucher (VA) writes a letter to Hilary Rosen (RIAA) and Jay Berman (IFPI) with his questions about the legality of CD copy protection, in light of the fact that these agencies are already compensated for home copying through royalties levied under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992.
• Read Boucher’s letter
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